Voice over IP (VoIP)

Voice over IP (VoIP) refers to transporting voice communication (i.e., "telephone calls") over IP networks, such as the Internet. VoIP is arguably a poor name due to its restricted focus on "voice". The term IP Telephony (IPTel) is more general. Nonetheless, it is the more popular marketing term.

VoIP is viewed as the right choice for provide voice, video, and data communication to people in what is being termed as the Next Generation Network of the future. In fact, virtually all of the circuit-switched equipment vendors and service providers around the world have made plans or are in the processing of planning a migration to VoIP.

The term VoIP, though, is really too limiting to describe the kinds of capabilities users seek in any sort of next-generation communications system. For that reason, a newer term called IP Multimedia Communications (IPMC) is introduced to be more descriptive. Any next generation system will provide much more than simple audio or video capabilities in a truly converged platform.

Resources: IPMC Information Site, Understanding VoIP, Daily Payload

See Also: Internet Protocol Multimedia Communications (IPMC), H.325 / AMS, H.323, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), H.248 (or Megaco), Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP)